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Interview - Last Letters

Last Letters is a one-man-band from New York, USA! Consisting of; Charles Iwuc.

 

1. What’s next for Last Letters?

A summer ep! I plan to finish it all up soon, release two songs for hype, and then the ep by the end of June. Still toying with a name and artwork for this release, but it’ll be a large departure from my previous work. No limitations this time around, I’m pretty jazzed for this one. 

2. Favorite tuning, inspiration? 

The last couple of years I’ve been playing around with different open tunings. Right now I’ve playing in DADGAD, but dropping the high D string a half step to C#, and I’ll even drop the guitar a full step from there. It’s a mood and super fun to write in. Or I’ll mess around with Chris Carrabba’s Db-Db-Db-Ab-db (‘Screaming Infidelities’) and see what comes out of it. It’s a super delicate tuning, but I tend to come up with heavier riffs if I decide to plug in.

3. Why have you chosen to be just a one man band?

It’s not necessarily easier as a one man band, because you have to sit down and write and record every single part of a song yourself and make all the executive decisions, but it’s definitely more fulfilling in the end. You look at your work differently and sit back and realize that all of this is your subconscious flowing out; what I’ve taken from bands I grew up listening to tends to find its place, tucked away under riffs and melodies I’ve rewritten a few times. I think the music production side of it all has become my forte, so I try to show that off to the best of my ability through every Last Letters release. However, I’m hoping the one man band is just the first phase of LL. Honestly, I’d love to start playing with musicians in the same room again and book shows for next year as the world starts coming back together. 

Would you say punk rock is still in decline or finally on the rise again? 

I’d say it’s on the rise. We’ve got this ‘Nu-Punk’ era of pop punk coming in hot. Basically anything Travis Barker touches falls into this genre: Machine Gun Kelly, Yungblud, KennyHoopla, Trippie Redd, and now Avril’s back with him and John Feldmann’s team. I’m far down the line to work with Travis, but fingers crossed. He’s really helping with the resurgence of pop punk, giving guitar-driven bands a chance, keeping it fresh. 

Any albums you're looking forward to this year or 2022?

The latest Senses Fail single ‘Lush Rimbaugh’ is a banger so I’m looking forward to what Buddy has pieced together for their new full-length. I’ve been loving these short teasers Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! have been posting on their Instagram. I’m a sucker for easycore. They’re way past due for a new record and I’m super pumped for it. ‘Pardon My French’ still slaps hard. And I’ve been hoping for more music from House Parties (@housepartiestx), a female-fronted band out of Texas with strong Paramore and Stand Atlantic vibes. 

What’s new in your record collection?

Oh god, so many amazing first pressings and repressings came out last year and early this year that I had to pull the trigger on because I would have regretted it… Bilmuri’s ‘Eggy Pocket & Taco,’ Dashboard’s ‘Spider-Man 2,’ ‘Summer Kiss,’ ‘So Impossible’ EPs, Fall Out Boy’s ‘Take This to Your Grave’ repress, and Saves the Day’s ‘In Reverie’ which sold out in quite literally 30 seconds. I couldn’t help myself. ‘In Reverie’ is top five albums of all time for me. 

Favorite summer albums?

Every summer I revisit my favorite 90s/early 00s albums, they’re all so nostalgic and so well-produced. Anything from Everclear’s ‘Songs From An American Movie: Good Time For A Bad Attitude’ to  Sugar Ray’s ‘14:59’ to Third Eye Blind’s ‘Blue.’ I’ve always been such a huge fan of Art Alexakis’ songwriting and heavier moments in his career. ‘When It All Goes Wrong Again’ is top Everclear. Oh, and if OMC’s ‘How Bizarre’ isn’t thrown on your summer rotation, then you’re doing something wrong!

Anything else new on the horizon?

Aside from Last Letters, I’ve been doing more writing. I’ll be releasing a website soon with a couple close friends soon where we review and recommend our favorite films, records, and cheap food spots based in New York City. So, keep an eye out for Poor Young Gentleman (@pooryoungentleman). Thanks for having me!

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